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The Last Word

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Virginia 10, Paul Ryan 8, Ezra 6, Obama 4, Subaru 4, Harry Reid 3, Florida 3, Hagel 3, Michigan 3, Washington 3, Pennsylvania 3, Ryan 3, Chantix 2, John Boehner 2, Medicare 2, Garth 2, Bobby Jindal 2, Reid 2, Romney 2, Facebook 1,
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  MSNBC    The Last Word    News/Business.  (2013) New.  

    January 25, 2013
    7:00 - 8:00pm PST  

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not to mention this network, msnbc, apparently multiple times. that is what they tell me, basically, everywhere but fox news. it is not a huge ad buy, but they are counting on lots of free media to further their message. free conservative media, in particular, so in the national review, look, liberal groups, anti-hagel adds hit tv screens, liberal group releases no, on hagel ad, the washington free beacon, democratic group airs ad blasting hagel. supposedly these ads are being run by liberals and democrats, against hagel. but these liberals against hagel are anonymous, telling the press they are "allies" with the obama administration, who are staying anonymous because they fear retribution or fear from the white house.
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this whole thing just seems off, right? i mean there are obviously two intentions with setting it up like this. they're trying to convey the impression that this is a white house who attacks and tears up anybody who disagrees with them. that is the way the right likes to think about this white house, that is the way they operate. they may be more effective if they did, but that is not what they do. more broadly, they're asserting there is broad opposition to chuck hagel, we're just not allowed to know who it is. i'm not buying it it, i say bull-pucky, i might be wrong, but i call bull-pucky. and if i am wrong, there is an easy way to prove it. come out, come out, whoever you are. if you are not bill crystal or somebody like that, i'll be the first to admit i'm wrong. but i don't think i'm wrong. this is not a liberal group, it is a right-wing group, you're trying to look like liberals and we can tell. that does it for us, we'll see
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you monday night. now it is time for "the last word." have a great weekend. >> it has been a huge week in the world of politics, we had the inauguration, of course, followed by house republicans stepping back from the brink on the debt ceiling. but the big political story of the week got very little attention until tonight. >> we're going to show the country here is an alternative path to the one that the president has us on. >> the republican party's big plan for renewal. >> we're committed to producing a budget, a plan that will balance the budget in the next ten years. >> balance the budget in ten years, ten years, that will be hard sledding. paul ryan's didn't balance until 2040. >> we get closer to the sequester. >> the sequester. >> the sequester is coming? these automatic spending cuts. >> it is painful and hard to sell. >> the sequester is coming, we don't think we should ignore this. >> what do you think the party must do better. >> we have to stop being the
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stupid party. >> stupid is as stupid does. >> change the electoral college. >> the new plan for electoral votes. >> those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. >> we must compete in every state. >> this republican plan would divide them up by congressional districts. >> that is how we'll achieve republican renewal. >> they're not giving up. >> they're about as popular as lice. >> stupid is as stupid does. >> what do you think the party must do better? >> what they say is no all the time. >> we all voted no. >> empire strikes back, was the best one. >> the republican party made an incredibly important promise this week. it is a promise i cannot believe that they made. the first time i heard about this promise was actually in an article i was editing. and when i read the article,
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what the republicans said they were going to do i actually sent the article back to the writer and said this is wrong. you have to correct it before we can publish. and by the way, i want to say here on television, i'm sorry, susie, you're totally right. what the article said the republicans promised and in fact they did promise was they would release a budget, in the coming weeks. they would balance it in ten years. >> it is time for us to come to a plan that will in fact balance the budget over the next ten years. it is our commitment to the american people. >> that probably doesn't sound like a big deal, balancing the budget, households do it all the time, let me rephrase it for you. the republicans promised to release a budget that makes paul ryan's previous budget look like squishy socialism. right now, the one that priaul ryan put together would not be what you call a centrist
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document. you want to know what it balances? 25 years from now, in 25 years i'm going to look something like that. that is how long paul ryan's most recent budget takes to get to a balanced budget. i become an old person. it will take until 2038, because balancing the budget while the country is getting older and while you won't raise taxes is really hard. to do it you have to embrace some really ugly policies, so to understand the trap, what they're about to tell the american people they're going to do you need to quickly understand what is in ryan's original budget. he didn't balance until 2038. so i made a graph for you. i want to be clear away they are. they're the numbers that paul ryan himself gave the congressional budget office. they are his own vision of his plan. they're what happens if everything goes exactly how he wants it to. and so what you're seeing here is the definition between paul ryan's most recent budget and
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the law as it is currently read. and it is two different things, ten years from now. this gives you a very clear idea up until now of what ryan has been cutting. first, people tend to think that ryan's budget is about medicare. but that is not where he gets savings, at least in the first ten years. it is only about half of gdp, or 10% of his cuts. then, he doesn't touch medicare at all. then there is this category of health care, which is mostly health care for poor people, medicaid, obama care, things like that. and now you begin to get into bigger numbers, ryan gets 1.5% of gdp, or more than three times of what he saves in medicare, but cutting mostly health care on poor people, about 10% of total savings. then there is everything else, food, education, infrastructure, everything else the federal government does.
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ryan doesn't really say exactly which programs he is really cutting here. but it is where he is cutting. he gets four and a half times this budget as he does from medicare. it is about half the total cuts and it is a huge cut. we don't know the programs that will get the axe, but he has given us enough detail on it, to say that about two thirds of ryan's budget cuts comes from programs for the poor. but that is quite a bit. and he is still not balancing the budget until 2038. so how is ryan going to take the budget, which is already pretty rough and has pretty unpopular policies in it and get it to balance in ten years as opposed to 30? ironically, one thing that actually helps him a lot is the fiscal cliff deal, baecause it actually raises taxes. here is his explanation. >> all right, can you get to balance in ten years and not raise revenues? >> yes, yes, the revenue baseline is obviously higher now
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that we have this cliff behind us. >> i want you to listen to that again. they asked paul ryan, he asks paul ryan, can you balance the budget in ten years? and paul ryan says yeah, we're much better off now because we raised taxes. listen. >> all right, can you get to balance in ten years, and not raise revenues? >> yes, yeah, the baseline, the revenue baseline is obviously higher now that we have this cliff behind us. >> well, would you look at that? raising taxes does help you balance the budget. who knew? perhaps the republicans could take this insight further, but they're not. ryan says no more revenue increases at all. and so what is ryan going to do beyond the tax increases democrats forced on republicans, how will he get that budget balanced? he won't say. >> going back to the math question, you said that the reforms to medicare wouldn't
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apply to -- to people who are say, 55 or older. but -- as some members have suggested, wouldn't it be necessary in order to balance the budget in ten years to make those reforms applicable to people who are say six, seven, eight years into the program? >> you know, i am just not going to get into that. i haven't sat down with the committee members, i don't even have a baseline. it would be premature to comment on where i'm going to go. >> gotten the base stick -- wouldn't that be a logical -- >> i'm just not going to get into it. it would be premature. >> it would be premature. it is not premature to say where the budget is going to be balanced, of course. but premature to say how we'll get there yet. mr. ryan will tell us soon enough. we can get the lay of the land, in 2023, to get it balanced, even after all the new taxes,
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ryan needs an $800 billion in that cut alone, that is trillions over the next ten years. he ruled out tax increases. house republicans don't want to cut defense spending, in fact, in the romney campaign they wanted to raise it quite a bit. in theory, you shouldn't cut medicare for anybody retiring in the next ten years, so you can't get cuts there if you stick to that. the whole budget, it is only about a trillion and a half dollars. that is all of our spending on the poor and education, and skills training and research, everything else we're doing, it is about a trillion and a half. and ryan needs $800 billion. is ryan really going to cut all that by half, by more than half? that would be the most unpopular budget in history, it would be a disaster. or would the republican party change their promises and cut into medicaid or social security in the next ten years? this is what they have backed themselves into, these choices. there is a reason why ryan, who
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is really a conservative guy, who is trying to create a budget, that was a genuinely conservative guy, if you're not raising taxes you can't do it in a reasonable way. there is a reason he is having to do it now. it was a price house conservatives demanded for delaying the debt ceiling just by three months. so this is a deal that republicans made with their members just this week, a deal that will define our budget arguments over the next week. they made this deal, if you don't force us into a politically disastrous showdown, we'll do it with an equally disastrous budget deal. i don't understand what is happening in the republican party right now, but it is not good for them. joining me now, robert greenstein, a man who always understands exactly what is happening. bob, good to see you. >> good to see you, ezra.
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>> so i guess my question is how, how do you make the budget balance in ten years, and keep to all of these different promises? do you know budget -- you know budgets better than anybody i know, so how? >> so there are three things to start with, and you have already mentioned perhaps the most important. he will take advantage of the revenue increases from the fiscal cliff deal. the second thing is since ryan issued his budget a year ago, the congressional budget office who does the forecast of what the deficit will be, that you have to shrink to get to balance, cbo has changed its forecast. it is more optimistic. it now forecasts $750 billion less in deficits over ten years, with no changes in policy than it did a year ago. so ryan is going to take advantage of the fact that the amount by which you have to shrink the deficit to get to balance is smaller than it looked like a year ago. the third one is interesting.
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remember, ezra, in ryan's budget a year ago he took credit for all the savings in medicare that are in the affordable care act, then he and romney disowned them. i bet they're right back in budget like they were last year. he will do all of those things, and then on top of them he will have huge cuts in, as you said, the part of the budget that is everything other than defense and everything other than entitlement programs, where education and environmental protection and food safety is. and the advantage for him there is he just lowers the total dollar amount for that part of the budget. and he does not have to identify a single specific program he would cut. and as you also suggested, i think he will have huge cuts in areas like medicaid, health care for the poor, food stamps and he does that by converting the programs to block grants and just giving states lots less money. and the states have to be the bad guys, ryan doesn't have to say which people lose the benefits and go hungry or become
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uninsured. so it will be an exercise in huge vagueness that will be very difficult for people like you or me to say that a certain individual would lose this benefit or have their income fall by that amount. it will just be one thing where everything is vague, but on paper the numbers make it look like it is balanced. >> so let me ask you something, when people hear it is going to be a balanced budget in ten years, well, of course, why is it even taking ten years? they balance budgets all the time. we actually don't need to balance the budget. because of growth in this nation, we can manage small buffets, 1%, 2% of gdp, going forward, tending to be what we did in the last 20 or 30 years. but i would like to hear you on this, do we need a balanced budget? and certainly any time soon? >> well, it would be a mistake to have one real soon. because that could put us back in a recession. it would pull too much demand
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out of the economy. for the long-term when people say correctly, we have a serious, long-term fiscal problem, the cause of the problem is that if we don't do anything the debt will rise faster than the economy grows. and ultimately we'll have to pay so much in interest payments, we're in big trouble. but what we need to do to prevent that is to keep the debt stable. to keep it from rising faster than the economy grows. and to do that you need deficits below about 3 or maybe 2 and a half percent of the gross domestic product each year. you don't need the deficits at zero. you don't need the balance. and in fact, the difference between a small deficit to 2, 2 and a half percent of gdp, if the difference was if you shorted funding for education and highways and roads and bridges and basic scientific research, you would probably have a smaller economy in the long run, not a bigger one. because you would have starved the very kind of investments you
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need to fuel long-term productivity increases and growth in the economy. >> all right, this is a crucial point that you can -- by cutting too much now and not making investments in your future you can actually hurt long-term growth and make long-term deficits higher. bob greenstein, always good to see you. >> my pleasure. john boehner says president obama is trying to annihilate the republican party. but up next, i'll explain why the gop is kind of doing a good job of it itself. and on that path, some republicans are trying to gerrymander it. some are saying we can't change the rules of the presidential election just because we lost one. meanwhile, threatening to filibuster, a deal was reached. others say it doesn't reform anything. and crazy things happening in washington, we'll let you weigh in on the scandal of the week.
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obfusc . ryan's new budget is not the only really, really odd fight that republicans are about to pick. they have another one, in this one, they threaten to cut the spending they like unless democrats cut the spending they like first. if that does not make sense to you, you are not alone. and the bust that is the filibuster effort, that is coming up. cord scratch ] what?! it's not bad for you. it just tastes that way. [ female announcer ] honey nut cheerios cereal -- heart-healthy, whole grain oats. you can't go wrong loving it.
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[ coughs ] [ baby crying ] ♪ [ male announcer ] robitussin® liquid formula soothes your throat on contact and the active ingredient relieves your cough. robitussin®. don't suffer the coughequences™. >> i'm going to ask you to bear with me for a second, because i need to talk to you about the gop's other big budget scheme. now that the debt ceiling is gone, that has become their plan a, the best shot at getting spending cuts. the problem is that their plan a has the most boring name of really any policy in washington, the sequester. but you need to know about it to follow what is going to happen in the next couple of months in d.c. i am not going to use the "s" word, i'm going to call it big,
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dumb, very, very liberal, friendly spending cuts. but before we rename it you need to hear our speaker, john boehner on the subject. >> the deadline, obviously, is the sequester, have you had any conversation with the president or harry reid about that so far? >> i have not. the sequester is going to go into effect on march first unless there are cuts and reforms to get us on a plan to balance the budget in the next ten years, it is as simple as that. >> mr. boehner told the board that the sequester is as much leverage as we're going to get, quote. he meant it to sound reassuring to conservatives, like that is fine, we don't need the debt ceiling, we have the big spending cuts, democrats will never allow those. i can't see why they're reassured. to see this as a deal, you have to remember where they were when they created the cuts in the first place, back in the 2011 fight. the way we got out of that mess,
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we kicked the can down the road and formed the super committee. you remember the super committee, the bipartisan group of legislators are charged with finding 1.2 trillion in deficit reduction, that was plan b to the super committee, if they failed, which they did, the sequester would cut the deficit by the same 1.2 trillion, but it would do it right away, and in such a mindless, painful dumb way that neither party could live with it. it was meant, then to force the parties to make the deal. punishment. and that was an obvious design, you build half the sequester out of tax increases, which republicans hate, and then the other out of spending cuts which democrats hate. but republicans refused to vote for anything with taxes in it. even though the whole policy was they were not supposed to like it. they made a concession, if the sequester was going to be all spending cuts then the things the democrats would get would be really friendly to democrats.
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and so the spending cuts, they don't touch medicaid or social security. or programs. it exempts most programs for low income americans, including food stamps and the earned income tax credits. veteran's benefits, totally home free. medicare providers see cuts, but medicare beneficiaries, seniors themselves, do not. and fully half of the cuts come from the military, half the cuts come from the military. it is a huge cut in defense spending on the order of about $500 billion. it is so big, liberals could not dream of achieving it any other way. now, that is not to say that democrats will love all the spending cuts in the sequester. the sequester is full of cuts they will not like, including cuts to the national institutes of health and to education and to investment. and in addition, the cuts are very dumb. every affected program gets a cut of the same size, and so you can't choose which programs should get bigger cuts and which should get smaller cuts.
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it is just a cleaver, not a scapel, but the republican hits get hit harder, just not the same way. remember, their theory of the case when it comes to the budget, the one you saw in the romney campaign, and then the ryan budget is that it needs to be cut and changed is medicare and medicaid. and over time, social security, and in particular now, programs for the poor. the one thing we really need to keep and even spend more on is defense. these spending cuts are the reverse of that theory. the spending they want to cut is protected. and the spending they want to increase is gutted. and this is a kind of insane outcome that is the consequence of the gop's no tax budget. they could get a deal from the obama administration that would cut into medicare and social security and all of these other programs in ways liberals would hate. and republicans would find somewhat congenial, as long as they also agreed to raise taxes.
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and they don't even need to agree to raise tax rates, that has already been done. they just need to get rid of the loopholes, but they won't, this is a corner they backed themselves into having lost an election and being tied to this ridiculous tax pledge. they are so desperate for leverage, for a hostage, that they can actually shoot that they're willing to point the gun at their own head and threatening to point the trigger. coming up, virginia is for cheaters, at least when it comes to electoral votes. it is aspsilooking to be the pl where you can take the electoral votes, seriously. and one thing in particular, we are crazy in love with. that is coming up. be slow. or that printing in color had to cost a fortune. nobody said an all-in-one had to be bulky. or that you had to print from your desk. at least, nobody said it to us.
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. >> a federal appeals court ruled regarding a senate recess last year. the court says allowing the appointments to stand would defeat the purpose of the framers in the careful accept rotation of the power structure. the ruling may jeopardize the recent appointments, on appointments already the focus of a different lawsuit. but if it is upheld it is a broad ruling. it could destroy this administration and every other administration's ability to make the inter-session recesses entirely. jay carney voiced his disappointment earlier this afternoon. >> the decision is novel and
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unprecedented. it contradicts 150 years of decisions, we respectfully and strongly agree with the rulings. >> but why did the president have to make the appointments in the first place? the republican filibusters were blocking the nominees, of course, and the filibuster was also upheld this week. we'll have more. but first, the virginia people that think they can win elections and cheat. what is letting them do it next. with the spark cash card from capital one, olaf gets great rewards for his small business! pizza! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back
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♪ shimmy, shimmy chocolate. ♪ shimmy, shimmy chocolate. ♪ we, we chocolate cross over. ♪ yeah, we chocolate cross over. ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing fiber one 80 calorie chocolate cereal. ♪ chocolate. the republican party has a bit of a problem. a majority of voters do not seem the want the president of the united states to come from a republican party. the republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections, they fight very high unemployment and quite a lot of economic anxiety. and the matters are getting worse, the core demographics are shrinking, while the obama coalition is growing.
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one way to respond to a challenge like this, is change your positions to be more appealing to the majority of voters. that is the traditional approach. but there is another, less traditional approach, too. if republicans have a disadvantage at the presidential levels, they have a clear advantage at the house level. republicans tend to live in more rural areas than democrats and they have had more control over the redistricting processes. most things giving them more of an advantage, as a result. republicans control the house, despite 1 million more people who voted in november voted for democratic house candidates than republicans. what the republicans are trying to build on is that strength, if it can work for a congressional election, why not try it in a presidential election. forget one man, one vote. they're testing out one district, one vote. the way it works, they would divide them not according to who won the popular vote in that state but who won the most congressional districts.
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plans of this nature have now been proposed in virginia, michigan and florida, a senior republican laid out the rationale to "national journal," there is no kind of a top seed and an out reach that can grab us those electoral votes that quickly." of course, the senior republican was not named because no political figure would want to attach their name to such a shameless quote. so here is how the massive shifting would work, there is legislation moving in three states that went for president obama in november. in virginia, president obama received 51% of the popular vote. and all 13 of virginia's electoral votes, winner take all. under the change proposed by republican state senator charles caricco, which is expected to be voted on next week in the state committee, president obama would have received four electoral votes from the four districts he won, mitt romney, seven electoral votes from the
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districts he won, plus the two at large votes for winning the most districts. that means barack obama who won 51% of the popular vote in virginia would get 31% of the electoral votes, and mitt romney who won 48%, a minority of the popular vote in virginia would get 69% of its electoral votes. in michigan, president obama got 54% of the popular vote, and all 16 of the state's electoral votes under the change presented, president obama would have won five, while mitt romney would have won nine electoral votes for his nine districts. president obama would get an extra two electoral votes for winning the popular vote. very generous, president obama won 54% of the popular vote in michigan would then get 44% of the electoral votes. mitt romney, who won 45% of the vote would get 56% of the electorals. in pennsylvania, president obama received 52% of the -- i'm sorry, i meant pennsylvania, not
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florida, earlier. and all 20 of pennsylvania's electoral votes. under t under that change presented, president obama's 52% of the vote would have won him a grand total of 12 votes. mitt romney's 47% of the popular vote would have won him 8 electoral votes. in 2012, president obama won 51% of the vote, mitt romney got 47% of the popular vote. the president won 332 electoral votes to mitt romney's 206. but if the one district, one electoral vote plan applied in all states, president obama would have won 262 electoral votes and mitt romney would have won 273. in the presidential election. now, the good news here is that a lot of republicans do not want to win this way. today, virginia governor bob mcdonald's communication director issued this statement, saying the government does not support this legislation, he believes virginia's existing
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system works fine as is. he doesn't believe there is any need for a change. in florida, the republican house speaker told the miami harold, it is like wins in the three quarters, i don't think we need to change the rules of the game, we need to get better. seems we need to bring them into the party versus trying to change the game. joining me is joy reid to talk about the game. good to see you. >> great to see you too, ezra. >> this does not seem healthy for the republican party right now. i mean, it seems healthy that some of their key members are rejecting it. but figuring out what in your party they need to change to be more appealing to the electorate. >> you know what, you're right, it is a capitulation. the republican party maxed out the white vote, their goal was
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to get 60%, they actually did better than that. but because of the shifting demographics of the country, president obama only needed to see the percentage of the vote that is nonwhite be 28%, because about every four years we're getting 2% more of the electorate is nonwhite. so you had for president obama a threshold where he could lose 60% of the white vote and still win the election. republicans can respond in other ways, saying we need to appeal to the white voters, to urban voters. if you look at the map you showed earlier, the vast sea of red are less popular states with smaller numbers of electoral votes because they have smaller populations. rather than trying to find a way to appeal to urban voters, to appeal to black and brown voters, to appeal to women voters, they are saying forget trying to do that.
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we're just going to change the way we play the rules. >> i want to play something from bobby jindal, talking about how they need to change. >> we have to stop being the stupid party. and i'm serious. it is time for a new republican party that talks like adults. time for us to articulate our plans and visions. we have to start dumbing down our ideas, and stop reducing them to mindless slogans for 30 second ideals. we must have the courage and convictions, and provide details to describe the views. >> that is tough criticism, what do you think of the actual issues that this foretells republicans shifting? or is it simply a change in topic. >> you know, i just don't think what bobby jindal says it popular, for one reason. he pushed creationism in schools, i don't know how he is getting to be the party of
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reason. however, at some point, the republican party gave the ideology to the entertainers, you have fox news, sort of the entertainment complex, now speaks for conservativism. they have given up the pursuits, it is harder to get their bases to go along with the changes, to say we embrace changes and minorities, it is easier to change the rules, that is why you're seeing them give up on the first idea and just go to the rules changes. >> joy reid, who will never give up. >> thank you. coming up, waiting for filibuster reform, it almost happened and i'll explain why. and what became the most controversial part of president obama's second inauguration. wo. but when i started losing energy and became moody...
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corticosteroids, or medicines to decrease blood clotting. so...what do men do when a number's too low? turn it up! [ male announcer ] in a clinical study, over 80% of treated men had their t levels restored to normal. talk to your doctor about all your symptoms. get the blood tests. change your number. turn it up. androgel 1.62%. . what i learned from the beyonce scandal is coming up.
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but next, the dead on arrival filibuster reform. [ female announcer ] how do you define your moment? the blissful pause. just before that rich sweetness touches your lips. the delightful discovery. the mid-sweetening realization that you have the house all to yourself. well, almost. the sweet reward. making a delicious choice that's also a smart choice. splenda® no calorie sweetener. with the original sugar-like taste you love and trust. splenda® makes the moment yours™.
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i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms plus has a fast acting decongestant to relieve your stuffy nose. [ sighs ] thanks! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth! [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus. ♪ oh what a relief it is! ♪ [ male announcer ] to learn more about the cold truth and save $1 visit alka-seltzer on facebook. . last night at about 7:45, filibuster reform officially died, and died for a lot of reasons. one reason has to do with that advantage the republicans have developed, the congressional elections. the republicans already control the house over the last 55 years, all second term presidents who saw them lose seats in the second term.
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and for president obama, 2014. and democrats have a very uphill road in the senate, 21 seats held by democrats, of those 21, seven are in states mitt romney won in november. the bottom line, filibuster reform is always going to be the tough sell even for the party in power, because they don't know when they will be in the minority again. for the senate it may be soon. but last year, filibuster reforms seemed to be possible. >> these two young fine senators, said that it was time we changed the rules in the senate. we didn't. they were right, the rest of us were wrong. or most of us now, anyway. what a shame. if it were anything that ever needed changing in this body, it is filibuster rules. because it has been abused, abused and abused. >> but senator reid's enthusiasm
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eventually settled on a more modest set of reforms. he told me he was not ready to get rid of the 60-vote threshold, although it could be said their package did not do so either. he struck a deal with mcconnell, and last night, they overwhelmly agreed to speed how they consider legislation in the senate. so the deal makes it work faster and more efficiently. and cuts down the time a bill could be used after it passed the house and senate, now it just needs to be reconciled. what is missing, the actual filibuster itself. two men, who know it like nobody else. norm orenstein, an american scholar at the american institute. the title of the book "even worse than it looks." great to see you. >> great to see you, wonderful
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seeing you, ezra. >> tell me, norm, why did filibuster reform not go the way the reformers had hoped? >> i think there are a couple of reasons, ezra, one is, this is not the right time for it for some of the reasons you mentioned. but also with the house in the hands of republicans, if you use the so-called nuclear option, causing a lot of disruption in the senate, maybe you could pass a bunch of legislation through the senate it is not going to go anywhere in the house anyway. so you do the cost benefit analysis, of whether or not pushing further would make sense. and harry reid just didn't think it made any sense. and what he opted for and said was something that would give more efficiency to the senate and a little bit more traction for nominations for the president. and viewed that as something where you could get bipartisan support and move on from there. and finally, he is leaving open the option of going to something much further if this current
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system continues to be abused. >> so tom, let's talk about those changes for a minute here. senator reid's office argues that they will make a big difference in how the senate is able to get on to a bill. right now it can take a week before the time you say i want to consider giving the grant, to the time you could actually begin to consider it, which is clearly a little bit long. do you think these reforms will actually change the way the senate works in a significant way? >> not in a significant way. i mean, the reality is the 60 vote for closure to close off filibuster rule is still there, without touching that it is likely we'll still see the use of the filibuster by the minority party. we'll still see individuals abusing it. it does give the majority leader
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another option for moving legislation to the floor, and therefore controlling the agenda a bit. and in that sense, one of the things that really irritated harry reid was the -- was the time wasted through the procedural requirements for filing, cloture petitions, voting on them, the post-cloture debate, and the like, he now has a way out of that. of course, he had to pay something, of guaranteeing two amendments to the minority, which might be used for purely wedge political issues. but it is something, and he also has an opportunity with some nominations to dramatically cut down on the post-cloture debate
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time to block some nominations and really move them through more quickly. so in that sense, there are some advantages. but i think the biggest changes that the -- the incentive now is for the public to -- to keep an eye on this for other groups. they're finally aware of the super majority hurdle in the senate that was never anticipated by the framers. and it may begin to sort of increase political pressure on mcconnell to use it less than he has. >> well, one thing that i think is interesting on that, norm, one of the things i found in the reporting here, a lot of senior democrats, this is true for a look time. it remains true today, they really like the filibuster, despite the fact it caused them no headaches in the last couple of years. they really think the threat of the filibuster is an important
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piece of the architecture and it should be preserved. i think a lot of folks wonder why, why wouldn't they want it to be a majority senate? so walk me through it. because you talk to these folks. what is the case for it among the more established members of the institution? >> well, if you think of what is going on in a number of state legislatures, and look at what happened in virginia. if you have a republican party that gains even by the narrowest of margins, the republican party, they have a willingness and ability to jam through some remarkable and revolutionary things. democrats in the senate, the senior ones who spent plenty of time in the minority, they have been in the minority when george w. bush had republican majorities in both houses. they saw the tax cuts go through, they have seen other instances where they're fearful enough that the worm will turn, and they want to be in a position where they can use their minority status for leverage. and if you put that together with the other reality, ezra,
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which is that all the other 100 senators who have egos like to use holds, sometimes even with their own president, to block action on a nomination. to give them a 2 x 4 across the forehead to gain something that may be entirely extranneous. >> thank you. >> the part of the election that people couldn't just start -- stop talking about. it was beyonce, and that is next. or that printing in color had to cost a fortune. nobody said an all-in-one had to be bulky. or that you had to print from your desk. at least, nobody said it to us. introducing the business smart inkjet all-in-one series from brother. easy to use.
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. yes, lip gate, beyoncegate,
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the crisis in lipia, beyonce-gazi, was there a second singer on the grassy knowles? mr. president, the american people demand answers, what about beyonce sing? when did she sing it? and was that even beyonce? it could have been sasha fierce. either way, folks, it is now official. jay-z, officially, has 100 problems. >> it is the biggest controversy since the fake moon landing, did beyonce lip-sync at the inauguration? no one can even agree on how to spell it. do you spell it with an h, some speculate she just used a backing, so far no response from beyonce, as for the white house,
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not talking either. >> i actually have no idea. and i don't think it is really a particularly important issue to address from the podium here. >> so what really happened? i do not care. in 2009, it was called yo-yo ma pretended to play the cello, because the strings could snap. you know what, i was writing, it was awesome. i would not have expected when i saw the first destiny's child video that beyonce would actually sing the anthem at the inauguration of the first black president. i wouldn't have seen it at all if not for the arguing, and i think lip-syncing or not, you would enjoy seeing it, too.
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♪ ♪ ♪ oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we held ♪ at the twilight's last gleaming. whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight oer the ramparts we